Mysterious Ways - Chapter 13 - U2 Feedback

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Old 12-06-2010, 11:50 PM   #1
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Mysterious Ways - Chapter 13

Okay, I'm getting tons on this, but let's not talk abut my laundry - okay? I don't own these people just my thoughts on them.

Larry still avoided Gloria, in fact more than before. Even though a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders, he needed to now face what the last few weeks had left him with. He and Ann had pulled together to face cancer together. And in some of her darker moments, she reached for him. Suddenly, he felt a little guilty when he looked at Gloria. He and Ann needed to sort through what their future was. Until he knew, Larry decided to still keep to himself. It was easy to avoid her when Bono demanded so much of her time.

If there had been a change in Larry’s behavior towards her, Gloria would most likely not notice. With Ali and the kids in New York, Bono found it very hard to control himself. In the company of everyone, Gloria was the long suffering press manager, and Bono the incorrigible rock star. She rolled her eyes and corralled him. He was, well, Bono. Charming and impossible. The band was in tour mode meaning even when in France recording, there were late nights in dark bars. Many mornings, Bono staggered home or to closest known domicile after a night of drinks and philosophy. No one was at his home to check his comings and goings. So far, it had been Gloria that kept him at arm’s length - save for the moments she caved. Usually after joining in the pub crawl and a few beers weakened her resolve. His kisses were increasingly becoming more urgent. She wasn’t sure how long she could hold him off. When his lips met her, every part of her ached.

Gloria waited in the lobby for Bono and Brian to meet her. Their meeting with President Sarkozy was in an hour. Her breath caught for a moment as he walked towards her looking beautiful in his black suit. She dropped her eyes so no one would notice - especially Bono. He was focused on the meeting at hand - going over his notes. In the back of the car, they went over his talking points and strongest arguments. While Bono and Sarkozy met behind close doors, Gloria chatted with the president’s wife Carla. After the meeting, Bono held a short press conference. Once in the back of the car, he leaned his head back and closed his eyes.

“How did it go?” she asked.

“You know. Times are tough all over. It’s hard to get your message across when people are losing their homes and jobs. And it is hard to impress upon the general public that as tough as they have it, they need to be concerned with Africa and the AIDS initiative. I just have to keep it on their minds,” he said. He smiled, “You know, be that annoying little bug in your ear.”

Gloria chuckled. “Yeah, you are good at that.”

His hand reached for hers entwining his fingers. His thumb caressed her hand. She knew she was blushing - hard. Brian was in another car. It was just Bono, Gloria and the driver who was far more interested in his conversation on his cell phone. Holding his hand felt nice and comfortable. They’d held hands several times in recent years, not like this. Her phone rang. She released his hand and reclaimed hers. Tonight, he had dinner planned with old friends. She graciously declined and opted to stay in her hotel room to work. And when there was a knock on her door at 2am, she held her breath. She knew it was Bono probably a little worse off from wine. If she opened her door, she’d never turn back.

Larry had been home for 2 days. He was certain that Ann was avoiding him. She hugged him tightly when he walked through the door. Then promptly handed him the keys to car for car pools. He went to the market. He did homework. He fixed a cabinet, a mirror and a gutter. He practiced sports and made dinner. His head spun being thrust so firmly back to domestic life after long nights of recording and bar hopping. Ann kept him busy so they wouldn’t have time to discuss the events of the last few weeks.

Finally, the night before he was due in Brussels for a two night stand, she decided she needed to address the multicolored elephant in the room. The kids were tucked into bed, and Larry was drying dishes. Ann leaned in the doorway watching him. She felt terrible. He stood by her during this whole ordeal. He put his life on hold to come back into hers. He did so without a second thought or complaint.

“Thank you for drying those,” she said.

He looked over his shoulder. “Ehm, you’re welcome.” He had to pin her down. He’d come home to deal with this and she had deflected everything the last few days. She’d kept him so busy that he was exhausted by the time the kids went to bed that he collapsed on the couch and couldn’t form a thought.

“We need to talk,” she said.

He leaned against the sink. “Yes we do.”

She sat at the kitchen table which seemed to the place where they had all their most serious conversations. “I want to thank you for standing by me the month. Your support has meant everything to me. And thank you for not telling anyone. I am still not ready to share with anyone, but I know it must have been heard for you to carry that.”

“Not as hard as it was for you,” he said.

She rubbed her temples. “I know things got....confusing when you came home. We said that that part of our relationship was over...and then I needed you.”

He bit his lip. “I know. It was a very difficult and emotional time.”

“I....didn’t want....I don’t know,” she stumbled over her words. She couldn’t find the right ones she needed to tell him. “Larry, I’m seeing someone.”

It was as if he had been punched in the stomach. “What?”

Nervously, she rubbed her hands together. “I’ve been seeing someone for the last few weeks. He’s very nice. I really, really like him.”

Granted it had been weeks since he and Ann had an intimate moment, when did she find time to date? Where did she meet him?

“So, you’re dating?” he asked evenly.

“It hasn’t gotten serious, but I feel like it could,” she confessed.

“I think I need some air,” he started for the door.

“Lar, talk to me. I’m sorry if you thought we were....I don’t know,” she stood.

“Ann, I will be honest that I didn’t know what to think. I came home these last few days to sort it out with you. I knew we had things to figure, but I didn’t figure you’d been dating,” his hands were balled in fists at his side.

“I didn’t expect it either. Did you want to get back together? What about Gloria?” she asked.

It was the first time Ann had put it out there. She somehow knew that Larry’s heart had been fixed on Gloria.

“I need some air,” he headed towards the door. Ann knew she couldn’t stop him.

Larry’s legged pumped him further from his house. He was angry and hurt. Why? Was it because he really thought this would bring them together again? No, that wasn’t it. The few times they did sleep together, he didn’t feel complete afterwards. He just felt guilty and conflicted. He wanted to crawl out of his own skin. He had no idea where he was going, but he just ket walking. The air had cooled and it felt good on his hot face. He was a fool. He willingly walked away from Gloria to take care of Ann. He saw the hurt in Gloria’s face when he pulled away so abruptly. He’d done it before and now, would she ever trust him? Would she ever look at him through those eyes? For as much as he avoided her, she left him alone. The fire in her eyes had gone out. He had all but killed it. For Ann. For his family. He had a few pints at his local stewing in his own juices. When he returned, Ann was in bed. Larry went to the guest room downstairs that had become his room in recent months. The following morning, he hugged his kids and was still too angry with Ann to look in her in the eye when his car came to collect him. Eventually, he would be okay. After all, she never asked him to put his life on hold for her.

A beautiful Belgium day melted into a lovely clear night for the first show. It was unseasonably warm for late September. The crowd was wild. Bono’s back and voice were in fine form. It helped that Gloria watched from the crowd. Somehow knowing that she was out there, her eyes on him, gave him an electric charge. She stood with security and his eyes often sought her out. That night, they wouldn’t be boarding a plane. It would a late night for everyone in the U2 family. The band would be whisked to their hotel to shower and head out to the Belgium bars and discos.

Gloria arranged for transportation to the first club. Vans and SUV’s pulled up outside the hotel to carry everyone out for the evening. Edge was the first to meet her in the bar freshly showered.

“Great show,” he beamed. “Bono sounded great, didn’t he?”

Gloria nodded. “He did. He didn’t look like he was in pain. I was worried that the tour would take a toll on him.”

“He just has to hold out for 8 more dates,” Edge ordered a beer.

“Is that all?” Eight more shows. SHe glanced at the calendar on her phone. They had about 2 weeks left together - when they would return to their lives - all of them. She was able to push that thought to back of her mind as Bono breezed into the bar in dark blue jeans and black buttoned down shirt which he apparently forgot to button all the way.

“Where is everyone?” he gestured. “I can’t be early.”

“You are, because you’re on time,” Gloria said.

A few more people trickled in moments later. Larry, who had been particularly quiet, entered with his security guy, Dave.

“Are you ready Lardence? Where’s Adam?” Bono was anxious to get the night rolling.

“I’ll see you at the second place. Dave and I are getting something to eat,” he said. We’ll probably be there before you.”

“Food will be where we are headed,” Gloria said.

“Dave said he knows of a great biker bar. A few of us heading there,” he said.

“Be careful of Belgium biker bars, Larry. You are far too handsome,” Edge teased.

Larry feigned a smile and gave Edge the 2 finger salute. “We’ll see you guys later.”

Edge winced when he was gone. “He’s been moody lately, eh?”

“I heard the kids are giving Ann a time. I think that’s why he heads home so much,” Bono said. He slung his arm around Gloria. “That’s okay...who needs Grumpy McMullen? Maybe after a few pints he’ll loosen up.”

Once Adam joined the group, they all piled into a large black SUV to be zipped at a heart stopping pace through the streets of Brussels. Gloria made certain that Edge sat between her and Bono. She knew she couldn’t avoid him all night. There was a charge between them that would have to be dealt with sooner or later.

The disco was jumping even before the guests of honor turned up. They know how to throw an after party. No sooner did Bono walk through the door, but a throng of models and local actresses descended upon him. He held court at a table by the dance floor. Brian kept watch nearby for anyone getting too close. Edge, Adam and Gloria sat on the other side of dance floor enjoying a relatively quiet dinner. Dennis and Paul joined them. After a few pints of beer, Edge was cajoled to floor by Liz. Gloria and Adam chatted. Through the waving and swaying bodies, she saw Bono’s eyes on her. He nodded as a tall blonde lounged across the back of his chair, but he wasn’t paying attention. For a moment, Gloria’s chest welled up with joy. Here he was the man every girl wanted, surrounded by freakishly beautiful women. His eyes were on her. A short sound technician wandered over and convinced her to also hit the dance floor. After 2 strong wheat beers, she shrugged and let him lead her into the sea of sweaty bodies.

Finally, he was done watching. Seth the sound tech was clumsy and had no music about him. Gloria did the best she could. Bono excused himself from his table and plowed into the fray.

“Can I interrupt?” he asked over the music.

Seth nodded dutifully at his boss and scampered in the other direction. Gloria raised an eyebrow. “You scared the poor kid.”

“He should be scared. His dancing is atrocious,” he took her hand and pulled her a little closer. “You deserve a better partner than that.”

MGMT’s ‘Electric Feel’ pumped over the huge speakers in the club. Eyes locked, they shimmied and swayed in perfect rhythm with each other and the music. It had been a very long time since they last moved in unison like this. He spun her around and pulled her against him laughing. She was pressed against his hips. He wanted to wrap his arms around her and taste the beads of sweat on her neck. Aware that eyes were on him, he attempted a ridiculously exaggerated tango. One dip almost sent them into Adams table and they knocked over empty bottles. The second try was more fluid until he lost his grip. They toppled over in a fit a shrieking laughter.

“Don’t break the press manager!” Edge called. He offered his hand to Gloria. “Are you okay?”

“Nothing broken,” she turned her concern to one who had back surgery. “Are you okay?”

Bono rubbed his elbow. “I think I bruised my funny bone.”

“Here, I’ll cut in. My moves are much better,” Edge led her away.

Bono was content to claim a seat beside Adam and his stage tech, Phil to just watch her move. The owner of club joined their table with a vintage bottle of white wine opened for his guests of honor. Edge, Liz, Rocko and Gloria decided it was time to move on to find the party after the party. Some of the crew had headed over. Edge received a text that it was ‘totally happening’. Bono and his table would head over once the bottle was finished.

As promised, Larry and his crew had been there for at least an hour. To Larry’s delight, the biker bar was nothing what Edge teased about. Along the front of the bar, immaculate bikes were lined. Yes, there was a ton of leather - but there was a reason for it. Larry hadn’t been on bike in years. Home in Dublin, there was no time for riding. Dave offered to secure some bikes in Australia for them to ride like did on the Elevation Tour. He liked that idea. Ann would always be too nervous to let him tour on bike. What right would she have now?

Gloria, Edge and entourage settled into a booth at the back of larger and darker club. More beers were ordered. More dance music pumped at insanely loud decibels. Slowly the rest of crew appeared in small batches. Seth looked around the club nervously as he again approached Gloria for a dance. She felt bad for this poor young stagehand. She was almost 15 years his senior and it was definitely an ego boost. Over her shoulder, she could see Edge and Paul snickering with a wink.

Seth’s jerky moves caught the eye of Larry still at the bar with Dave and his friend. They poured over maps of Australia with the planned stops marked with empty beer bottles. A dark haired beauty with high cheek bones slid beside him and whispered something in his ear. He cocked an eyebrow and turned towards her. Over the stout Seth, Gloria watched this very strange interaction. The beauty inched closer. Usually by now, Larry has thrown up his wall and sent them away. Yet tonight, he seemed amused?

Bono and group slipped inside the very active scene. His eyes scoured the club for Gloria. There were many dark corners. He was stopped every ten seconds by someone wanting to bend his ear. Finally, he saw her again in the sweaty clutches of Seth.

“Oh dear,” Bono clucked.

Adam’s gazed followed. “Looks like someone might have a crush.”

“Poor girl,” Bono set off to save her.

His eyes caught on Larry and the beauty in close counsel at the bar and wondered what that was about. Before he had a chance to save Gloria, Edge stepped in to whirl her away. Privately, they chuckled over little Seth’s tenacity. Bono was handed a pint and pointed to the booth in the corner where Adam wandered towards. He took a few sips of his beer before abandoning on a table littered with glasses. Fixated on Gloria, he tapped Edge’s shoulder. Still laughing, Edge headed for the bar.

Bono pulled her close. “You have a boyfriend, I see.”

She nodded. “It would appear that way.”

“Should I be jealous?” he said in her ear.

“I don’t know....he was quite a dancer,” she said.

As the club filled with bodies, it was easy to get lost. Bono and Gloria stayed on the dance floor. Sometimes dancing with others, but always finding a way back to each other. Stealthily, he guided her to a dark corner of the club. With his hands on her hips, he pressed her firmly against him. Her head was swimming with a little wine and a lot of lust. His hair was damp with sweat and his shirt clung to him.

He moved closer, his lips teased her with a small kiss. “I want to go home with you,” he said against them.

She tingled. “Right now?”

“If we can, yes,” his hand slipped under the back of her shirt. She shivered. “Oh definitely yes.”

Her legs shook. “Okay, I’ll slip out now.” She dug in the pocket of her jeans. “It’s my room key. Do you know which one is mine?”

He couldn’t believe she agreed so willingly. “Yes. 1125.”

She kissed his cheek as she pushed past him. She hoped her legs would work enough to get her back the hotel. Liz was the only one she could find to tell that her head hurt and she was going to bed. As she hit the cool fall air outside, she took a deep breath. Was she really prepared to do this? Just once. What could it hurt? All the teasing and flirting would eventually lead to this. Get it over with and done and move on.

Bono was a master escape artist. He had learned to become very elusive during ZooTv when he wanted to continue his night after his security person felt the night was over. He made a quick round through the club trying very hard to not draw too much attention to himself. His eyes were on the door. Edge, who was truly enjoying himself, asked where he was headed. Bono lied and said he heard about a small blues club down the street. He and larry were thinking of heading there. Edge promised to join when his drink was finished. Bono looked for Larry. Last he saw, Larry had been in deep conversation with a beautiful young woman. Their spot at the bar was empty and there was no sight of either of them. Would he? Bono wondered for a moment. Deciding that he was not the person to judge, he shook his head and made his escape. The hotel was on the next street over. Since there were no taxis right there, he pumped his legs. The thought of being alone with Gloria made him break into a run. He was thrilled to find the lobby empty. Somehow, he passed through without being noticed by anyone. Once inside the elevator, he pressed 11 repeatedly hoping that it would get him to her room quicker. His heart raced thinking of what he was about to do. With his hands shaking, he fought to steady them enough to use her room card. He glanced over his shoulder casually. The hallway was empty. Quietly, he slipped in her room.

“Gloria?” he called out softly. Perhaps she was in the bathroom slipping into something more comfortable. Her room was immaculate with her laptop on the desk. After a moment, he realized he was alone. Her room was much smaller than his suite. The bed was large and very comfortable looking. He bit his lower lip. He was nervous. What if he couldn’t live up to what he was 18 years ago? She’d been with others while he had only been with Ali. His stomach dropped when her name popped in his head. He should leave. He should want to leave. His feet were planted firmly in that room. He couldn’t figure out why guilt didn’t eat away at him as it should. The only way he was leaving this room was if she chucked him out, or there was a fire. And fire would not be good enough reason.

The click of her door broke him of his thoughts. Gloria stepped through the door breathless. She frowned. “How did you get here before me?”

“I ran here,” swiftly, he gathered her in his arms. “Did you wait on a taxi?”

“No, but I did take a wrong turn,” she said.

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Old 12-07-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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Oh man what a terrific chapter! I see some sexy interaction coming up here soooooon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're right, I'm loving Bono. Well, I always love Bono. But I want her to be with Larry. And if she won't be with Larry, then give her to the Edge.

I this!

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Old 12-07-2010, 06:54 PM   #3
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Yes I agree, I love this too This was a great chapter, and I can't wait till the next one!
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I am working on 14a (okay, I did most of it while I was supposed to be working). I hope to have that up tonight with something else to email.
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Old 12-07-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
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I finally found time to read this story (couldn't look away - read it all in one sitting!)

Love it!
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Old 12-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #6
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great story! don't really know which team I'm on though lol
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Old 12-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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I like it!
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:52 AM   #8
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*runs to next chapter...*
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Old 12-14-2010, 11:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GraceRyan View Post
Bono was a master escape artist. He had learned to become very elusive during ZooTv when he wanted to continue his night after his security person felt the night was over.
^^ How very devious of him. He sounds like a little kid sneaking out of the house...

And Grumpy McMullen may be my favorite nickname...ever...for Larry. Thank you for adding that in; I literally laughed for several minutes.

Man, Larry is having a rough time of it.

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